Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ex-tra good fun

New events, attractions featured this year

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It's the only place in Winnipeg where you can eat a corn dog, then try to keep it down while you're being whipped around at 2.5 Gs.

It's the Red River Ex, and it's taking over Red River Exhibition Park from June 13-22.

Garth Rodgerson, CEO of the Red River Ex, said there's enough variety to keep everybody entertained this year.

"If you like food, we've got all kinds of different food. If you like to see animals, we've got every farm animal known to man and even some that people don't know about... and, of course, carnival rides," Rodgerson said.

The Ex has added 17 new events or attractions to the mix this year, including pirate performances, an interactive exhibit on Manitoba agriculture, horse jumping and a visit by Olympian Clara Hughes. The show also added a new ride, called Remix, which looks like a transformer camouflaged as a crab.

Bennett Kavals, spokesman for North American Midway, said it spins riders 21 times a minute, and probably is best enjoyed on an empty stomach.

"It's gonna make you dizzy. I don't recommend eating right before you go on it," Kavals said.

Rodgerson said the experience is so intense it can only be enjoyed in short bursts.

"I've heard that they're trying to limit it to about 60 seconds, because any more than that, and we have to put up extra garbage pails for that corn dog on its way out," he said.

The Ex will also have live entertainment during the day and in the evening, including performances by Down With Webster Saturday and an Internet cat video festival June 18. Performances will also be happening away from the mainstage, including iFlip.

The performers, some of whom have resumés that include experiences with Cirque de Soleil, will be flipping, bouncing and drawing gasps from the crowd while using trampolines and aerial bungees.

Rodgerson said he expects about 175,000 people to attend the Ex, although that might rise to 223,000 like it did two years ago.

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 12, 2014 A2

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